We live in an era of rapid introduction of scientific and technological achievements into everyday life. This has a very noticeable effect on everyday life: devices appear every year that make it easier for housewives to do housework. In particular, the arsenal of kitchen appliances is constantly updated, which increases the efficiency of food processing.
On the one hand, this process can be considered positive: varied and tasty food becomes available to anyone. On the other hand, modernization of this kind also causes harm: the share of raw vegetables and fruits, whole grains and unrefined cereals in the diet of most city dwellers is rapidly decreasing, and with it the consumption of fiber necessary for the normal functioning of the body.
Fiber includes those carbohydrates of plant origin that are not destroyed by digestive enzymes, but are processed by beneficial intestinal microflora. These are mainly coarse plant tissues: seed peel, fruit pulp, fibrous parts of leaves, bean shells.
This article focuses on the beneficial effects that fiber has on human health. What foods contain the maximum amount of fiber and how to provide your body with fiber, we will tell at the end of the article.
1. Weight normalization
Fiber has an interesting property: once in the stomach, it quickly swells. In this case, the brain receives a signal that the stomach is full (and, therefore, the person is full) within a few minutes after the start of the meal. By adding high-fiber foods to your diet, you can significantly reduce the calorie content of food without feeling hungry.
Equally important is the fact that fiber slows down the absorption of nutrients, preventing weight gain.
2. Maintain gut health
Soluble types of fiber (pectins, gums, hemicellulose), entering the intestines, turn into a viscous jelly. This substance envelops the walls of the digestive tract, protecting them from the effects of digestive enzymes and acids.
The use of a large amount of fiber reduces the risk of developing ailments such as colitis, diverticulosis, bowel cancer. In addition, beneficial bacteria that live in the human intestine feed on fiber. If there are enough such substances, the vital activity of these microorganisms is activated, which prevents the growth of colonies of pathogenic microflora. By enriching your diet with fiber, you can avoid problems associated with inflammatory processes in the intestines.
3. Prevention of hemorrhoids
Insoluble fiber (lignin and cellulose) has a mild laxative effect. Its consumption contributes to the rapid and effective cleansing of the intestines, reduces the likelihood of constipation. A diet rich in fiber is considered an excellent way to prevent hemorrhoids.
4. Stabilize blood sugar levels
Eating foods rich in fiber slows down the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines. This is very important for diabetic patients: this mode eliminates the need to produce high doses of insulin.
Fiber is processed in the intestines. At the same time, carbohydrates are also formed, but their absorption does not lead to an increase in blood glucose levels. Consuming fiber is much safer for health than including refined sugar in the diet.
5. Protection against heart disease
Fiber also slows down the process of fat absorption, helping to normalize cholesterol levels. This contributes to the preservation of the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, prevents the development of coronary or hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Recent studies have found that a daily intake of 200 grams of fiber-rich fruit pulp almost halved the risk of death from cardiovascular pathologies.
6. Improving skin condition
Experts say that the condition of the skin directly depends on the activity of beneficial intestinal microflora. Regular consumption of fiber helps to suppress the vital activity of pathogenic bacteria and fungi, reduces the risk of developing inflammatory diseases. This contributes to the preservation of healthy skin color, its tone, normalizes the sebaceous glands.
How to add fiber to your diet
Legumes contain the maximum amount of fiber (asparagus and white beans, green peas, etc). There is a lot of it in cabbage (headed, broccoli and cauliflower), the pulp of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, the surface layer of seeds of cereal plants.
To provide the body with fiber, it is necessary to eat raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Preference should be given to whole grain cereals, wholemeal bread made from unrefined grains, juices with pulp. You should not get carried away with cereals that do not require cooking, or cereals that have undergone preliminary heat treatment: the fiber contained in them initially has been largely destroyed. It is important to include dishes with beans, peas or lentils in the menu at least three times a week.
The daily requirement of an adult in fiber is about 35 grams. According to statistics, a modern city dweller does not receive even a third of this amount. This situation is extremely harmful, but everything can be fixed: pay attention to your diet and add healthy plant foods to it. It does not require much effort and extra expenses and will bring real benefits to your health.
5 iron reasons to eat fiber every day